Devils Edge Aggies in the Ninth

The Sun Devils baseball team ended the Bob Schaefer Memorial tournament in exciting fashion Monday night with a thrilling 11-10 9th inning victory over the New Mexico State Aggies. The Devils (4-3) and the Aggies (1-4) exchanged the lead seven times before the Devils were finally able to end it in the bottom of the ninth scoring three runs on four hits.

The Aggies jumped out in front early 1-0 in the top of the first off Sun Devil starter Ty Marotz. Senior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch put the Devils back on top in the bottom of the inning with a two run double to center field. The Devils were able to take a 5-3 advantage going into the top of the eighth inning with sophomore closer Zechry Zinicola on the mound. Zinicola's struggles to locate the strike zone, clutch hitting by the Aggies and another costly error by the Devils led to four Aggie runs in the eighth, putting them up 7-5. The Sun Devil bats answered right back, scoring three runs in the bottom of the inning thanks to a two run double by senior third basemen Joey Hooft.

Zinicola was kept in the game to preserve the 8-7 lead heading into the last inning. But after two hit batters and two outs on the board, Aggie sophomore leftfielder Adam Harvey stepped to the plate and crushed his second homerun of the game to give the Aggies a 10-8 lead. Zinicola (2-0) struggled in the victory, pitching three innings, allowing seven runs (four earned), on three hits and walking four batters (2 HBP) in picking up the win.

Once again the Devils bats didn't let the pressure of losing the lead late get to them. Senior Tuffy Gosewisch led off the inning with a double to right to get the rally started. RS freshman designated hitter Rocky Laguna followed Tuffy up with a single to put runners on first and third with nobody out. Laguna stole second and Tuffy scored on an Aggie wild pitch to cut the lead to 10-9. After two strikeouts the Devils were down to their last out with true freshman centerfielder J.J. Sferra stepping to the plate. Sferra came through with an RBI single back up the middle to tie the game at ten apiece. Sferra then stole second to put himself in scoring position with sophomore leftfielder Colin Curtis at the plate. Curtis delivered with a single to left field to drive in Sferra for the game-winning run.

Gosewisch finished the game 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBI. Curtis was 2-for-4 with one run while also driving in two runs. Curtis also extended his hitting streak to eight games. The Devils will now prepare for the third annual Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic at the Surprise Recreation Campus in Surprise, AZ. The Devils begin tournament play at 7 p.m. on Friday against South Alabama (0-0).

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